Optional Kinect will lead to more Xbox One games, says Phil Harrison

User choice creates a "virtuous cycle", apparently.

No, "virtuous cycle" isn't some sort of angelic variation on the motorbikes from Tron, which can only be conjured up in the absence of a Kinect sensor. It's what happens when you offer a cheaper, Kinect-less version of your console, which then allows more consumers to buy more hardware, which leads to more interest from developers. Simples!

Speaking to OXM at a preview event in London last week, Microsoft's European Studios chief Phil Harrison took a moment to discuss the announcement of a Kinect-free Xbox One SKU, which will go on sale in June.

"Last week we made a very significant announcement about giving gamers a choice, a choice about how they want to enter the Xbox One ecosystem, by offering them a version of Xbox One both with and without Kinect," Harrison observed. "And fundamentally that is good for opening up the Xbox One ecosystem - the more consumers who buy Xbox One, it's a virtuous cycle for more developers to make and more consumers to play games, and that is what we're committed to achieving and continuing.


"But we remain committed to Kinect as the premium way to experience the Xbox One vision," he insisted. "Over 80 per cent of Kinect Xbox Ones are active, over 120 voice commands are issued per day on average by all users of the console, so when you have this premium experience that is where the Xbox One comes alive."

A disagreeable man might argue that while removing Kinect from the equation could result in more games for the platform, it's unlikely to result in more Kinect games. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has assured us that Kinect gaming has a future, with more hopefully to follow at E3.

Harrison also took a moment to hail the long-prophesied convergence of independently made smaller games and full-fat "AAA" releases on Xbox One. "Titanfall continues to be a big hit for our platforms and on the PC, all around the world, and the first ID@Xbox games from independent developers are now coming onto the platform with Strike Suit Zero, which I'm really proud of as a UK-based team, that was just a good coincidence, just good karma," he noted.

"It's great that we're now seeing the triple-A blockbusters and the ID@Xbox games co-existing on our platform, which is exactly our vision."

It may interest you to learn that Microsoft is already thinking about the design of the next Xbox.